by Simon Daish
Last month at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open in Lisbon, Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier had to settle for the runners up spot behind fellow compatriots Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan. In Muscat they climbed one step higher up the medal podium!
Seeded second for the mixed doubles event in Muscat, Flore and Gasnier entered proceedings as big contenders for silverware and looked impressive in the lead up to the final.
Opening their account with a 3-1 win over Belgium’s Florent Lambiet and Nathalie Marchetti (11-8, 3-11, 12-10, 11-1), Flore and Gasnier went on to seal their place in the gold medal match with their straight games success against Belarusian no.8 seeds Aliaksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos (11-7, 12-10, 11-9).
Awaiting at the final hurdle was another tough fixture in prospect with Spanish no.5 seeds Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao providing the opposition for the French duo.
However, the match turned out rather one-sided as Flore and Gasnier refused to let Robles and Xiao into the contest, emerging 3-0 winners over the Spaniards in just under 20 minutes!
Success in Muscat sees Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier take home their first trophies on the international stage and with Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan winning last month in Lisbon, France appears to have a very capable doubles set up to rely upon!
As for Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao the journey may have ended in defeat but the Spanish duo should be lauded for their efforts and will surely reflect on the tournament as a positive experience as a whole.